Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz outlined the company's future plans yesterday, including the customers it would now be chasing.
"There are two customers we see," Schwartz said, speaking at a product launch in New York. "Customers that look at information technology as a competitive weapon, and those that look at information technology as a cost center. We're obsessed with and focused on the former."
Calling New York the "epicenter for those kind of customers" because of the financial services firms and media companies that have headquarters there, Schwartz tried to paint a rosy picture of a company that been in trouble for all of the 100 days he has been its head.
While his first 100 days "honeymoon" is over, Schwartz said Sun is just beginning to see the fruits of a comeback strategy it's been crafting since the dot.com bust in 2001.
The company seems to be finally climbing - albeit slowly - out of its unprofitable rut, and has shown promising revenue growth over the last couple of quarters as it cut costs by shedding employees. Schwartz said the company even expects to achieve sustainable profitability by next summer.
However, he had little new to report about the company's overall strategy. Sun launched some storage and server products - including "Thumper," a hybrid of the two. But beyond stressing Sun's commitment to a mix of hardware systems, software, storage and services, for the 100th time, there was little new in the speech.
Schwartz pointed to the success of Sun's open-source version of its Solaris OS as proof that Sun is happy to play well with others if it means winning customers. He said since the company open sourced Solaris last year, nearly 70 percent of its implementations have been on competing hardware from IBM, Dell and HP rather than Sun's own servers. Sun to date has distributed nearly six million licences for OpenSolaris, Schwartz added.
Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice said the event was called to show that Sun's investment in open source and new products over the past several years is finally beginning to pay off. Sun has sent a message that it's on the right path now and has something compelling to offer customers who shied away from it since it hit hard times, Eunice argued.
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